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85mm Alternatives to the 85mm f1.4 AF Nikkor

posted Dec 4, 2008, 12:10 AM by Jose Velasquez   [ updated Jan 22, 2009, 1:04 AM ]
So far I've found two 85mm lens alternatives for the Nikon mount that cost under 1000US.  They are the Nikkor 85mm f1.4 AIS, and a new lens by Samyang called the Polar 85mm f1.4. Comparing the bokeh produced by these two is next to impossible, as I have no way of getting them together in one place. However, this coming weekend, I plan to head out to test both of them out, and maybe, just maybe, one of the photo shops I'll visit will have both of them so I can compare their bokeh under similar circumstances. My wife told me not to trust Samyang, and that seems to be the general consensus over the internet, but the truth is Samyang is currently being run by a Japanese company. Whether that will make a difference, well, that's yet to be seen. As far as I could tell from images on the net, the Polar 85mm f1.4 lens produces decent bokeh, both indoors and outdoors. I've read at Fred&Miranda's that it's supposed to be even better than the current 85mm offering from Zeiss. If that's really the case, then Samyang has really outdone itself with this lens. It could prove to be another case like the Vivitar Series 1 lenses. No one liked them when they first came out, yet some of them were as good if not better than the offerings from Nikon. The only thing I don't like about the Polar 85mm f1.4 is its coating. It's brown. I'm not sure what that means, but it's not the usual magenta/green of Nikon lenses. It does look a little strange. Nevertheless, the pictures others are taking with this lens are very promising.
My Nikkor vs. Samyang/Polar Review.